Most of the gas-bottling companies have been found breaching LPG Sellers Bylaws 2009 provisions that ask the bottlers to put standard safety caps on LPG cylinders.
Most of the bottlers have been using cheaper aluminium caps, which according to the Federation of Gas Dealers Associations (FGDA) cannot fully prevent gas leakage and increase the risk of accidents.
Only Sai Baba, Everest, Shri Krishna and STC gas use safety caps, which cup the valve reducing the leakage risks, according to Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC). “Others are in the process of implementing the provision,” said NOC Spokesperson Mukunda Ghimire.
There are 55 gas bottlers in the country, with an estimated 6.2 million cylinders in circulation.
Despite the bottlers flouting the rules, regulatory bodies, including NOC and the Department of Commerce and Supply Management, have so far remained silent. Even the bylaws do not talk about what action should be initiated against such bottlers. But Ghimire said NOC would amend the bylaws to include a penalty provision.
Gas sellers said the government’s failure to enforce safety cap-related clause has put consumers at risk of accident. Gyaneshwor Aryal, former president of FGDA, said neither the bottlers nor the government authorities are serious. “Safety caps are mandatory in most of the neighbouring countries, including India,” he said.
The LPG sellers have accused the bottlers of avoiding safety caps just to minimise their costs. “Aluminium seals are far cheaper compared to the caps,” said FGDA Treasurer Arjun Prasad Devkota.
He complained the safety caps cost just Rs4 a piece, but those bottlers who use them charge Rs10 per piece to dealers if the caps are lost.
Shiva Ghimire, president of Nepal LP Gas Industry Association, said: “As it is a technical matter, I cannot say anything.”
Bottlers ‘not taking’ damaged cylinders
KATHMANDU: The Federation of Gas Dealers Associations (FGDA) has complained gas bottlers have declined to accept cylinders damaged by the earthquake. A delegation of the gas dealers on Sunday reached the Department of Commerce and Supply Management to complain on the matter among others issues. Chandra Thapa, general secretary of the federation, said it was the bottlers’ responsibility to take back the cylinders in whatever condition they are. According to the federation, a large number of gas cylinders , mainly in earthquake-hit districts, have been damaged. But the gas companies are reluctant to exchange the cylinders. (PR)